View Full Version : Mac OS X Tiger Install - Uninstalling Apps Question

5th October 2007, 03:53 PM

Is there a short explanation as to how Tiger handles the installation of apps? I think Windows so in my litle coconut I imagine there is a file registry etc like in Windows. Is that the case?

Before I install any apps, is there an unisnstall application anyone can recommend that I should load first. freeware great, shareware, fine. Happy to buy but just totally novice with OS X and file handling.

Cheers, J9.

5th October 2007, 04:02 PM
is there an unisnstall application anyone can recommend that I should load first.
Let me be the first to say AppZapper (http://appzapper.com/). Indispensable (and fun!)

5th October 2007, 04:05 PM
AppDelete (http://www.macupdate.com/info.php/id/23149)
AppCleaner (http://www.freemacsoft.net/AppCleaner/index.php)

Both are free

5th October 2007, 04:08 PM
Cheers! :)

5th October 2007, 04:14 PM
The way windows stores application files is:
c:\Program Files\App Name\App.exe
c:\Program Files\App Name\Needed Files\*
The way OS X does it is:
/Applications/App Name.app
/Applications/App Name.app/Needed Files/*
So dragging say, Firefox.app to the trash will remove firefox and all the files it needs to run from your system.

The exception to this are your program preferences. These preferences need to be unique to your account, so there are other places on OS X where these are stored. Usually, you can find them in 2 locations. ( ~/ = your home directory, not the base of your HDD)
~/Library/Application Support/App Name/*
the one that ends in .plist the application preferences file remembers things like window size, which popup dialouges you've seen, and so on. The 2nd one is where the app might keep it's needed files. An example of this is custom themes/sounds in Adium, which would be stored here.

Sometimes, App manufacturers break the rules and make a ~/Library/App Name/ So be on the lookout for that.

edit: long story short you don't need an 'uninstaller' to get rid of OS X applications. Drag em to the trash and be done with it. The files they leave behind are usually minimal in size and have no effect on your system performance.

5th October 2007, 04:19 PM
Cheers Disko,

Exactly what I needed to know. I've noticed from 12 months of experimentation in Tiger and trying out many apps that there are some unusual behaviours that don't appear consistant like what you mention, /Library/App name/. I've often been left with orpaned files.


5th October 2007, 04:21 PM
Don't forget you've got two libraries.



~/Library/ (which is /Users/Youraccount/Library)

App files *should* go into ~/Library/ every time
, but often you'll see the occasional app that throws em into /Library/ instead.

5th October 2007, 04:33 PM
Roger that! :thumbup:

I've just finished the re-install. First time. What a joy! So so easy!!!

5th October 2007, 05:03 PM
Gosh, you guys are complicated...

Just trash the app you don't need anymore and empty the trash can. That's the real Mac way to do it.

Now, if you want get rid of all the little extra file each time you get rid of an application, use AppTrap (http://konstochvanligasaker.se/apptrap/) (a free system preference).